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Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 08-11-2020, 02:51 PM  
Portfolio hosting, marketing and selling
Posted By Kiwizinho
Replies: 13
Views: 1,161
I recognised the wall space problem when I was looking at a way to sell some of my photography, and came up with a unique solution. I created small coffee table books that combined my own poetry with my photography and focused on my local region. Even if you're a better photographer than me, you couldn't replicate them unless you live in the same location as me, and even if I came for a visit to where you live, and take some nice photos, there's no way I could replicate what you could do if I only have a short visit, so I don't mind sharing my concept.
There are lots of pictorial books out there though, so there needs to be something more than just a book of photos with captions, hence the poetry, but I let the poems tell a story about the place rather than being too abstract.
I included a map in my books so people who do want to have a go themselves can visit all the locations featured and take photos themselves.
I also kept the weight and cost down so that the books can be posted internationally at an affordable rate, unlike some beautiful but heavy pictorial books that cost more than their own price to send overseas.
The amount I make per book isn't a lot, but I've sold hundreds, and because I self published, I make a reasonable margin.

I certainly wouldn't give up my day job, and the return per image is low per book sale if you think about it that way, but unlike posting on a stock photo site, I retain full control, and there's a much better chance of selling a reasonable volume than with stock photography, where there's strong competition.

My competition would be other local photographers, but they need to spend at least a year covering all seasons, then they need to compile a curated selection together to tell a coherent story, and so far I haven't actually seen anyone else do that, although I've seen quite a few more general pictorial books about a specific region, but they don't really have any sort of cohesive narrative, they're just collections of images that happen to be from the same geographical region.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 08-10-2020, 12:20 PM  
Portfolio hosting, marketing and selling
Posted By BarryE
Replies: 13
Views: 1,161
... carrying from I posted earlier and what jatrax says: I also, tried Etsy, used Facebook marketing tools and Alamy. Again, my thoughts are that so many of these outlets for photographers are now swamped with quality work the rewards are just too small.

If you consider physical sales:

About 4 years ago when I was selling well at shows/exhibitions I was enjoying the work. Then it started to change. I maintained great engagement with potential customers, but many now wanted to know how/where I produced the shots, equipment & printing advice etc. I would hear comments about them being able to do that with their 5D etc., ignoring the fact that the printing, framing and willingness to drag myself up in the middle of the night time and again, was likely to thwart their ambitions.

The best sales where from the quality, invitation exhibitions and the somewhat off the wall shows, eg agricultural shows where I was alongside tractors, equestrian and cattle products - the take-down and cleanups were often very messy. (A friend has done well at bird watchers shows selling botanical and abstract prints.) I think this is because customers saw our work with fresh eyes and there weren't any jewellery stands. Beware the small item stands!!! With a fixed amount of cash in their pockets (probably) and their walls already decorated, customers find it easier to buy another piece of jewellery to be lost in a drawer.

High end, invite only events were profitable. Fewer visitors, but they had different budgets and probably bigger walls too. I once sold 4 A1 framed prints to one customer as well as other smaller items.

Be prepared for wet days, hot days, windy days, sporting events too. I had one event (an outdoor gardening event which had 10s of thousands of visitors normally over several days). The set-up was in the high 30 centigrade under canvas - steamy. The first day in rained continuously as the heatwave ended. On the second day a gale blew so hard the event was cancelled as items were being launched into the air. The rain meant the few visitors who'd braved it, huddled together in the marquees - after shaking their wet umbrellas and coats. The windy day was just deserted. Just imagine how long it took to clear up from that event and how much stock I lost.

So sales on-line can work, but I doubt many will manage to establish themselves just by this route nowadays. The hard graft of targeted events where the customer profile and competition is fully understood, can, I suggest, return recent rewards, but beware the 5Ders, the jewellery makers and the weather.

Finally, the monetary value of sales is not just the only reward. Shows can be fun. Interactions with customers and other exhibitors, who were mostly very appreciative and supportive, is a great boost. It gives purpose to the snapping, buys equipment and is very fulfilling. When commissions are taken and quality exhibition organisers make approaches, this is the icing on the cake.

Perhaps don't give up the day job ...
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 08-10-2020, 10:45 AM  
Portfolio hosting, marketing and selling
Posted By jatrax
Replies: 13
Views: 1,161
I have sold on Etsy, Amazon, Zenfolio and Fine Art America.

Etsy requires you to jump through hoops unless you actually make the print yourself. They consider you using a photo lab as a commercial act. Sold OK for a while but as Etsy changed my sales dwindled. Still a viable platform if you do all your own marketing and printing.

Amazon Homemade is Amazon's answer to Etsy. Dealing with Amazon is a little frustrating unless you have really good computer skills. They have a long list of specifications and if you do something like put too many characters in a listing it gets dropped from the search. Again you will need to do your own marketing. Sales have been OK there but be prepared to put a lot of work into getting listings up and maintaining them.

Zenfolio is a nice professional portfolio site. See mine here: www.zigzagmtart.com Sales have been almost non-existent but I use them for printing things I sell elsewhere so its worth it to have the site for that alone. If I sell something locally or through Amazon or Etsy I just place the order at Zenfolio and they drop ship it to the customer.

Fine Art America advertises themselves as the largest online art site. I suppose they are but that also means you will get lost in the giant bucket of 'art' being sold there. Still it costs only $30 per year and some people I know do very well there. I have not sold much but then I never put a lot of work into promoting that platform either.

There is also Red Bubble which I do sell at occasionally.

And also there is Art Storefronts which I have no experience with. I'm on their email list and they are constantly sending me updates and promos trying to get me to try them. Maybe someday I will.

I think stock photo sites are no longer worth the effort. I have over 10,000 images on stock sites and it generates no more than $300 per month these days. It was a good business while it lasted but the sheer volume of images in those catalogs means you will be unlikely to ever recover your cost of uploading. The only site I still upload to is Alamy. Sales are infrequent but the returns are better than the micro-sites.

Most of my fine art sales have been from local art markets and galleries. Which is also a lot of time and work. Before COVID we did up to 12 shows per year. I am still booked for one this year but its not certain it will actually go forward.


I have a friend who is a Facebook guru. He loves the platform and really knows his way around it. He gets very good and consistent sales from his FaceBook postings. Better than I get from all of my online markets together. But he has the skills to use the platform and make it work for him.

Bottom line any of the above platforms (and others) will work if you put in the time to learn how. If you expect to put up your portfolio and make sales without extensive marketing and promotion please just forget it and don't waste your time and money. Online selling is very hard work and very time consuming. If you treat it as a business and put the effort into it then you can make money. Otherwise you will just have a nice website and no sales,
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-26-2018, 07:41 PM  
Looking for a second 35mm for street
Posted By UncleVanya
Replies: 19
Views: 1,477
FA 35... better build and just nicer than the DA 35 F2.4
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-26-2018, 07:18 PM  
Looking for a second 35mm for street
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 19
Views: 1,477
Do you need autofocus?

There are any number of older 28, 31, and 35 mm lenses - many of which perform admirably on the new APS-C cameras. Take a look at the lens review database for the FA, F, A, M and K lenses: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Many of these lens come from the "old days" and have a substantial feel and construction!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-26-2018, 07:15 PM  
Looking for a second 35mm for street
Posted By Kozlok
Replies: 19
Views: 1,477
Save up and get an Fa31. You can get a used one with some scratches on it for ~500-600 if you are patient. The Sigma 30’s are worse than the FA for street photography, but I do like the Sigma for posed portraits.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-26-2018, 07:25 PM  
Looking for a second 35mm for street
Posted By pepperberry farm
Replies: 19
Views: 1,477
look for a good, used copy of the DA35 Macro Limited - I was in the same spot with my DA35/2.4
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 12-10-2018, 02:34 AM  
Best lenses for video (on k-70)
Posted By Nofaddey
Replies: 15
Views: 2,344
Thanks for the share, your pictures are like a dream come true for me. being in japan being able to capture moments like yours. much better than the rainy UK
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 01-10-2017, 04:15 AM  
20 minute nature&landscape feature; broadcasted last month
Posted By Fries
Replies: 19
Views: 2,209
Well, on paper Pentax is lagging the competition. But if you work within those limitations by limiting camera movement and eliminating the need for shake reduction with a good tripod you basically end up with the same functionality as the Sony camera's my employer provides us. With some caveats off course. Without spending some extra money you only have one (stereo) audio channel instead of four. And the depth of field is smaller witch makes it harder to accurately focus the camera. Continues autofocus in filming is more of a hinderance than a blessing in my experience. But the flexibility of a camera you can mount different lenses on is wonderful and the quality of the files is good especially considering the low bitrate. And with the lenses I use the sharpness is better than my 'company' camera. But for straight news reporting I do prefer using a dedicated videocamera.


Your welcome!


Thanks! I hope he likes it and I take it he knows he is welcome to visit us any time.


Thanks, but I would not go that far. Perhaps it is a case of different expectations? If you expect a DSLR to work like a consumer grade video camera with lots of handheld shooting without a rig I don't expect very good results. But I am not a expert on this. I have read here that the K-5 with its mechanical stabilization does a relatively good job but I have alway's felt more comfortable with using a tripod.


Thank you! It was quite a opportunity and to be honest a bit nerve wracking to when your boss invests two weeks of pay in a project of which the scale is beyond my previous experiences. You have to deliver!


Thanks! I think one of the reasons people complain about the video functions on our Pentax camera's is that other brands are better. On the spec sheet at least.;) But if you invest time and some money in making a K-3 work for videography you do get a good return on investment. Provided you also invest the time and knowledge in the production of your project. Before shooting I was up to date on the biology of the main species I was covering, had some basic knowledge about stalking birds, knew what the tides were doing, secured me some expert help from the rangers and had a story line to work with. You can have the best and the latest in video equipment but if you don't have those bases covered you will fail.


You are most welcome! I was using the 'bright' setting (I don't know exactly how this JPG setting in the Dutch menu translates to English) but I have been using the natural color profile in other projects. Post processing lasted about five day's. Three day's preparations and doing the rough editing by me and two day's with a professional video editor. He did work on a lot of shots. Mainly tweeking the contrast. The blacks do clip a bit easily. But in some shots, like one of ducks on the North Sea with a fishing vessel he upped the contrast a lot. Generally the files where easy to work with and easier than some Sony A-7 files from a cameraman shooting a related project on the island. The cameraman sometimes used a 'flat' profile which needed a lot of attention to get it up to par. But to be honest; the guy did have some great shots. His main job was to shoot to people talking so he didn't have the opportunities I had. They used rather a lot of my material for that show!


And thank you (and all the others) for taking the time to watch this project of mine!

Cheers,

Remco
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-11-2017, 10:50 AM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By Jeff
Replies: 9
Views: 770
Fits the category, lovely image of a stranger.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-10-2017, 07:04 PM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By cpk
Replies: 9
Views: 770
Excellent shot!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-03-2017, 10:22 AM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By MorganL1
Replies: 9
Views: 770
nominate
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-08-2017, 05:04 AM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By gvdwijk
Replies: 9
Views: 770
Nice!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-08-2017, 09:19 AM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By martinrd
Replies: 9
Views: 770
Nominated.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-08-2017, 03:58 PM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By Joe2
Replies: 9
Views: 770
Nominated.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-08-2017, 04:37 PM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By Alj
Replies: 9
Views: 770
I like this and it seems to fit the category
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-08-2017, 04:57 PM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By section4
Replies: 9
Views: 770
Nominated.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-09-2017, 08:56 AM  
Stranger in high key
Posted By mirceattl
Replies: 9
Views: 770
Good photo!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-09-2016, 03:54 PM  
Green Zen
Posted By hilojoe
Replies: 9
Views: 635
Nominate
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-09-2016, 05:41 AM  
Green Zen
Posted By 81arctic
Replies: 9
Views: 635
lovely composition and natural even saturation, nominated.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-09-2016, 01:36 AM  
Green Zen
Posted By JackFromAdelaide
Replies: 9
Views: 635
Doesn't this make you wish you were there?
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-08-2016, 11:46 PM  
Green Zen
Posted By angus1953
Replies: 9
Views: 635
Nominated nature at its best
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-08-2016, 01:44 PM  
Green Zen
Posted By wmarkroberts
Replies: 9
Views: 635
So restful on the eye. Nominated.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-08-2016, 12:24 PM  
Green Zen
Posted By Murfy
Replies: 9
Views: 635
nominated. This image really caught my eye.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-02-2016, 04:18 AM  
Green Zen
Posted By JillyMc
Replies: 9
Views: 635
Vibrantly verdant, yet somehow melancholy...fantastic image!
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